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Saving science from its fanboys

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From Joseph Bottum, a review of David Wootton’s The Invention of Science at Weekly Standard,

David Wootton has written a long book to save science from something, even if he’s not quite sure what that something is. The demystification, deconstruction, and doubt of post-modernity, maybe. Or revitalized religious faith, from Radical Islam to Protestant Fundamentalism. Certainly, Wootton wants to rescue modern science from its historians. He calls this a new history, and he means it: The text would be a third shorter if Wootton could keep himself from diatribe, from savaging nearly every author who has had the temerity to write about the history of science before David Wootton came along to save the day.

Wootton knows the wonder-working power of modern science. He possesses a sure and certain hope in its future, and a love of its past in his heart. He has faith in science, he trusts it—and not just in the way that a philosopher might trust a proof for the existence of God, but in the way that a mother trusts her son. He believes that science has helped us, and will continue to help us, so long as we are true to the scientific method. More.

One wonders at such talk, in the age of the war on falsifiability and the blueprint for

Science isn’t being killed by it enemies but by its devotees.

See also: Reproducibility problem making science extinct? A theory long discarded by those who think that science can advance without evidence is: If you want trust, be trustworthy.

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